The Biomaterial Age

The Biomaterial Age

13 September 2019

03:00PM - 03:45PM


Multi-Purpose Hall 1, Innovis

We mistakenly assume that necessity is the motor of development, but the question we should be asking ourselves is not how we can change an economy and society molded around plastic to get rid of our addiction to it.

The question should be: What comes after the plastic and what kind of society will it bring?

In this talk, we will explore the role that biomaterials will play in the future of manufacturing and the emergence of new economic models, giving rise to what we have called "the biomaterial age". The role of bio-inspired engineering, 3D printing, or new models of organic waste processing will be covered as key pieces in this transition.



Dr Javier G. Fernandez

Dr Javier G. Fernandez

Assistant Professor
Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Javier G. Fernandez, Ph.D. (Founder) is an Assistant Professor and Founder Academic Member of the Singapore University of Technology and Design. His research focuses on the broad study, development, and application of biological materials and engineering systems. Among multiple recognitions, he has been named the world’s most outstanding young researcher in materials science by the Bayer Foundation, one of the ten Asia Innovators Under 35 by MIT, and one of the top innovators in sustainability by the Launch Organization (NASA, U.S. Agency for International Development, and U.S. Department of State). He has also been awarded with the Zwick Science Award for my studies on Mechanical Testing, and best PhD thesis at the University of Barcelona for studies in the use of biopolymers in Microelectronics and Biomedicine.

After his Ph.D in Barcelona, he was hired at MIT, where he developed the “Micro-Masonry”, a technology to assemble artificial organs and recognised as “breakthrough in tissue engineering” (CNET). Later, he moved to the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, where he invented “Shrilk“, a compostable and biocompatible material inspired by the insect cuticle. Shrilk is referred, for example, to as “one of the materials that will change the future of manufacturing” (Scientific American), a “Supermaterial” (National Geographic), and has been chosen (with graphene and metamaterials) one of the “five material that could change the word” (The Guardian).

His opinions and views on scientific issues and environmental policies have been covered in personal interviews, documentaries, and articles of National Geographic, BBC, PBS, FOX, Euronews, Discovery Channel, The Guardian, Huffington Post, and many others.